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Beet Salad Presentation- input please

For my dinner party this weekend I had two salads planned: The first, a simple mixed greens salad with shaved parmesan and a honey vinaigrette.

For the second, I was going to combine sliced roasted beets with segmented orange slices and feta cheese.
Now I'm considering buying logs of goat cheese and serving a slice of beet and orange on top of individual rounds of the goat cheese. It would be a bit more expensive and a bit more trouble, but I love the idea of it.

Is it worth it? Is an orange vinaigrette drizzled over all the rounds too much orange flavor? Or should I just do olive oil and balsamic?

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  1. I think the stacking is fine as long as you are able to have relatively thin pieces of cheese so that the cheese doesn't overpower the beets.

    I make a beet salad frequently that uses blood oranges as well as regular navel oranges; it is a nice complement. The orange vinaigrette will be fine, but I think it would be tastier to simply squeeze a bit of orange juice over top and drizzle with walnut oil. There is something magical about the combination of beet and walnut oil. Obviously, without making a vinaigrette you'd have to sprinkle with salt and pepper.

    1 Reply
    1. re: CanadaGirl

      Oh, the walnut oil is a fantastic idea! Thanks.

      I was planning on slicing the goat cheese with floss, so i think i can get them pretty thin that way.

    2. Sounds like a great idea, you may want to put the beet on the bottom in your stacking, the goat cheese could be crumbly. If you go with a drizzle of walnut oil maybe also sprinkle on top some crushed pistachios or pomegranate for additional color and flavor.

      2 Replies
      1. re: WhatsEatingYou

        +1 on beets on bottom, so they don't bleed onto your goat cheese. then cheese, then orange segment on top. Sounds lovely, what about a small sprig of tarragon or thyme on top?

      2. My comment is that you should consider that beets bleed. If you assemble this dish much ahead of time the cheese may soak up beet juice.

        1. My favorite way to dress roasted beets is to simply drizzle with balsamic glaze. I use store-bought glaze (saves effort, and tastes fine). I make a roasted beet salad with goat cheese and chopped walnuts, that people go crazy for at pot-luck parties, with or without any glaze.

          If you layer rounds on a plain dish, you could drizzle glaze over the top in loopy patterns for a creative, elegant presentation. I recommend chopped walnuts sprinkled over, or on the side. They really make the salad!

          My local market carries these two glazes, both under six bucks.

          My bottle of the Pastene product has a slightly different label than the one in the link. Both products are imported from Italy.

          2 Replies
          1. re: merkat

            Make sure you roast your walnuts, opens up so much more flavor.

            1. re: DWB

              Ooh, I'll try that! Thanks for the tip :-)

          2. My secret weapons for beets are nut oils and roasted nuts (with or without cheese) and pomegranate molasses - gives a fruity sweet/tart thick glaze to drizzle over.

            Your idea sounds good, but I concur that it may be neater to but the beet on the bottom.

            1. I would also do the beets on the bottom. What if you did a goat cheese mousse instead of just a slice of goat cheese so it's not as overpowering? I prefer beets chopped--you could do it in a can w/ top and bottom cut off, layer that, then the mousse, then the orange segments/walnuts. Remove can, top w/ a green garnish. It would be a pretty presentation.

              8 Replies
              1. re: chowser

                I think salads should be a bit messy, not too fussy. The important step would be to add the cheese on top, not mixed in, and at the last minute. I too love walnuts with beets. I also love a crisp granny smith apple diced up. I think I would skip pomegranates, maybe the molasses but not the fruit. Look to Jamie Oliver for presentation ideas- he makes all veg so inviting.

                1. re: chowser

                  I really like the goat cheese mousse idea.

                  I have a batch of leftover caramelized walnuts I made a few days ago. How about if I cut a thick round of roasted beet, piped some goat cheese mousse on top, and sprinkled crushed up caramelized walnuts over it? And then maybe a sprig of basil or thyme on each portion?
                  I could dress it with walnut oil or olive oil and S&P.

                  Should I add an apple or orange slice to each round, or leave as is?

                  1. re: eviemichael

                    That sounds good. Do not over complicate the dish. Roast the beets with thyme and salt&pepper, then make a mousse and sprinkle on some nuts-the crunch will definitely be essential. Skip the fruit! Beets tend to be sweet so I like to up the savory in a salad like this by adding onions, roasted or raw or both, garlic, roasted or raw. The balance is very important, you could add chives or scallions to the mousse and dress it lightly.

                    1. re: Gloriaa

                      Skipping the fruit would certainly make everything easier. I think I could add one thin piece of baby arugula on the side of the goat cheese that may look very nice.

                      1. re: eviemichael

                        You could top the salad off with beet sprouts! This is definitely one of my favorite salads!

                        1. re: eviemichael

                          Just saw a delicious looking beet salad on the amateur gourmet site. Pure perfection.

                          1. re: eviemichael

                            I like the tang of the oranges with the beets. I think a slice or two would still be nice.